A SOCIAL club building that dates back to 1887 and once had British billiard champions among its members could soon be split into a restaurant and a shop.

The Chapel Green Liberal Club on Thornton Lane, Little Horton, once had around 1,600 people on its books, and regularly hosted local Billiards tournaments and competitions.

But the building, near the junction with Little Horton Lane, is currently empty and has recently been on the market.

Now a planning application has been submitted to Bradford Council to divide the 303 square metre club building to create two new businesses - a shop and a restaurant.

Although the club has not been open for some time, the plans would mark the final chapter for the historic club as the building would be completely transformed.

End of the line for social club

The application was submitted last week by Shazad Bashir Talib of SBT Trade Limited, which is listed on the application form as being based in the Shenzhen area of China.

The planning forms say the club dates back 150 years, and at its height had a yearly membership of 1,600 people.

Telegraph & Argus records show that the Liberal Club started life as three stone cottages on land bought for £14 and 8 shillings.

They were built in 1831 by the boss of a Manningham stone quarry.

The club premises were originally occupied by Little Horton Liberal Club, with 1880s.

In the early 1900s the club boasted a famous sports star as one of its members.

Billiard player and member Harry C. Virr dominated the sport for several years - winning the title of English Billiard Champion for four consecutive years.

He claimed his first championship in 1907.

The Liberal Club building contained a bar, function room and games room - where countless hours of competitive Billiards involving teams from across Yorkshire, including other Bradford clubs, was played.

If the plans are approved then the building would be split into two units.

The main part of the building, which was used as the games room, would be a restaurant, with the smaller side building that was used as function space becoming a shop.

The application form says the development will create three full time and eight part time jobs.

A decision on the application is expected in early January.

Another former social club building in the district is subject to a separate planning application.

Plans to demolish the former Oxenhope Social Club and replace it with five houses was also submitted to Bradford Council earlier this month.

The club, which had been running since 1937, ceased trading in January. The committee in charge of the club – known locally as The Idiot Hut – had announced the venue would have to shut due to a lack of revenue.

The planning application, submitted by Phil Maudsley, is for the existing building on Lower Town to be pulled down and three bedroom homes built in its place.

A decision on that application is expected in the New Year.